For many of Qatar National Library’s patrons, the long summer break will take them back home, or on an adventure to a new travel destination. While many adults and youngsters alike will soon have more leisure time to tackle their summer reading lists, library books can take up valuable luggage space, and must be safely taken back once read. Fortunately, the Library’s extensive digital resources ensure that book lovers gain access to all the entertainment and stimulation they want, and at any time - free of cost.
The Library conveniently offers apps, ebooks, audiobooks, access to newspapers, magazines, and music and video streaming. This host of entertainment options are available to members so they can take the Library with them and have access to the vast resources wherever they are in the world. These online resources cover a wide range of subject areas, including academic papers, to satisfy the information needs and diverse interests of all age groups.
No matter where their plans take them this summer, the Library can remain every readers’ best travel companion. The only requirement is to be a registered member with an internet connection to remotely access the Library’s online resources and especially mobile apps.
The Library has a sizable collection of e-books, and its ebook platforms have had almost one million downloads to date.
Popular ebook platforms include OverDrive, which allows members to borrow a range of popular ebooks and audiobooks. The format is supported by most devices, including a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and Nook. Library members can download the OverDrive Libby app to gain access to a wealth of ebooks and audiobooks when traveling. SpringerLink is another useful one with the largest collections of ebooks worldwide, which gives users access to electronic scientific content.
Mahmood Ali, who has been using ebooks and apps more frequently, says: “What makes the Library’s online resources unique is the fact that they are free and easily accessible.”
“I have downloaded the Mango Languages application and will pick up a few French words before I visit France this summer. This is practical knowledge available for free, which is why everyone should use it.”
With a range of innovative story telling approaches adopted by a number of these digital platforms, parents will no longer struggle to maintain their kids’ reading skills over the long summer break. Parents of younger readers can make use of several award-winning apps with an array of exciting content formats.
The award-winning Booki app offers a new experience when reading digital books such as comics, magazines and bedtime stories in English and Arabic. The stories, selected from the world’s best publishers, are presented with interactive and entertaining read-along audio and music. Parents and teachers can add their narration and sound effects to put a personal touch on the reading experience.
Parents can encourage their kids to read more using RBDigital Comics, which gives access to more than 600 of Marvel and IDW digital graphics novels and comics. There is also BookFlix, online video storybooks for preschoolers through grade 3 as well as related games and activities.
Adults can rekindle their hobbies or catch up on their interests in business and finance, home and gardening, cooking and lifestyle by accessing popular digital magazines from their mobile using the RBdigital App, or from their desktop.
If you’re traveling to a new country this summer or planning to kickstart your resolution to learn a new language, Mango Languages is a wonderful online learning resource that you can use from your laptop or mobile device. An interactive database provides step-by-step lesson plans for over 70 different languages, including Arabic, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, French, and others. Specialty courses such as Medical Spanish or Arabic Etiquette, and Business Chinese (Mandarin), gives learners real world, culturally relevant lessons.
Audiobooks are growing in popularity and the Library has seen the number of downloads rise from 70 in 2017 to 2,674 in 2018.
AudioBookCloud is an online audiobook library collection streaming both adult and children’s audiobooks for schools and public libraries. Fiction, non-fiction and classics are in English and in Spanish.
The Library also has a wide selection of streaming and downloadable content available to users. During the summer vacation, those seeking to delve into the world of music can download and use the Naxos Music Library.
Graduate students can continue to have access to several research tools over the summer, including 200 databases that offer access to 60,000 electronic journals, covering specialized academic areas.
Milan Vasiljevic, Manager of Electronic Resource Management and Licensing, at the Library said: “The Library is no longer limited to reaching its members only when they are present within our physical space. We are responding to our members’ needs to offer knowledge development wherever they are, and the availability of digital services in English and Arabic is essential to this. The increased use of the Library’s ebook platforms and apps over the past year confirms that our outreach is having the needed impact, so that no matter where in the world our members are this summer, they can remain within the Library’s community and be assured of access to knowledge and information.”
Keeping abreast of current affairs and the happenings around the world is a recommended practice for those going on their summer breaks. Library members can access over 7,000 publications from 120 countries in 60 languages through the PressReader app.
For those interested in reading Arabic books, or completing their dissertations over their summer breaks, Al Manhal app, a flagship Arabic resource, allows members to read Arabic ebooks, articles and dissertations for free.
Many more titles are available through the Library’s online catalogue. Members can return or renew the ebooks or digital resources they borrow online with a click of a button from wherever they are in the world. Or go online to borrow more books and have them delivered instantly.